The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


June 30, 2013

Deep thoughts on being classy at the Classic



Suds lovers will scream, “Bud Lite or Silver Bullet,” but the award for most refreshing drink goes to The Greenbrier’s own peach-flavored iced tea. Grab a seat in the shade beneath one of the ancient oak trees lining the course, catch a breeze just freshening up the valley, and sip one of these delicious, cooling treats, and you will rejuvenate faster than you can spell Peter Oosterhouse.


Hands down, the most popular and tastiest food on the grounds is The Greenbrier’s famous fried green tomato sandwich. It’s the same delectable version served inside the hotel at Draper’s Restaurant. The current record for consuming the most of these delicious treats during the course of the tournament stands at 14 and is held by my daughter, who also serves as one of my hole captains.


Sir Nick Faldo’s new home is the chalet-like home perched high on a mountain peak above No. 18 tee. Due for completion in September, it overlooks the entire Old White TPC and Howard’s Creek, where Sir Nick has been known to wet a line on more than one occasion while visiting the resort. Jim Nantz’s sidekick gets more pleasure these days from landing a wily rainbow than chasing the little white ball.


Holes 2 through 7 provide some of the best golf during the tournament unseen by most spectators. That’s because they are at the far end of the property and require the most effort to reach as some might claim these holes to be beyond the call of duty on their legs.

No. 2, or “Hog’s Back,” vies each year with No. 13 as the most difficult hole during the tournament. A long carry over Howard’s Creek is followed by a lengthy shot to the green from an awkward stance in the fairway, thus the name Hog’s Back.

And the green is no bargain. Difficult to hold and surrounded by gnarly rough and three bunkers, the slope on the left side of this treacherous green makes two-putting no cinch.

Spectators who gather beside the green also get to see the tee shots to the nifty little par 3 known as “Biarritz” and for the big swale in the middle of this narrow green that measures 65 yards in depth. Holes 4, 5 and 6 all have out of bounds on the right and demand an array of shot-making skill while providing spectators with excellent views and shade.

Suffice it to say that those who make the hike are well rewarded for their efforts.

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